Rock Steady

Ready for our third outdoor challenge, my gym friends and I decided to tackle Whiteoak Canyon, another circuit hiking trail located in Shenandoah National Park. Ambitiously, we chose the Cedar Run/Whiteoak portion, described as “a very strenuous 8.2-mile circuit hike.” Strenuous, we learned was the key word, especially in 88+ degree weather!!!!! We were on the trail at 8:33 a.m. Similar to Old Rag, there were two access points to choose. We started at Lower Whiteoak Falls because it’s the steep, most difficult portion of the trail and we were at our peak energy level. We paused to enjoy the six beautiful waterfalls along the way — the tallest at 86 feet. We saw many people taking dips in the bases of the falls to cool off. About mid-way along the hike we missed a crucial turning point somehow and ended up walking an extra 6 miles on a horse trail. The extra miles may not seem bad, except when you add them to the other 8.2 miles and the hot temperature. I was sweating in places I didn’t know a person could sweat! Seven hours later and 14.2 miles, we finished the hike. On the drive home we stopped at Naughty Girls Donut Shop for a reward (…or two …or three). We ate delectable donuts; strawberry shortcake infused with tequila and s’mores infused with vodka. A great way to end a challenging day!

Backpacks packed again, BUT…

  • hydrating beverages (check)
  • health bar and salty snacks (check)
  • peanut butter sandwich (you don’t want food that can go funky in hours of heat) (check)
  • sunscreen (check)
  • bug spray (check)
  • Band-Aids (check)
  • extra socks (check)
  • hand wipes (check)
  • tissues (check)
  • BENADRYL® (item we discovered we should have packed after Jane slipped, landed on some fungus and had a bad reaction)

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